Growing up Catholic and going to Catechism class, I don't ever recall being taught much about the REAL presence of Christ in the Eucharist. More recently, at my last job, two girls I worked with — they were twin girls — would sometimes go to adoration and they'd mention it to me. I looked it up and then our church started doing it once a week on Thursdays. So I went one time and I prayed for an hour.
I did that once. Then, while at my current job, I was looking for a church to go to on Good Friday last year. I found a parish that happened to mention that they had a 24/7 Eucharistic Adoration Chapel. I got the code and I just started going, and it was a beautiful, peaceful place. It was just nice because you can go any time, you know?
I started going because I was struggling a lot with things with my one daughter — we weren’t getting along. And then I had been really concerned about my son. He is a super nice guy but he’s socially awkward and he had no friends at the time. Even his siblings were embarrassed to be around him. I went to an adoration chapel during my lunch hour and prayed for him to have a friend. I prayed, “Please let him have a friend.” And then literally the next day, this girl who he hadn't seen in three months or so called him to do something on Saturday night. And the same day he was at work and some people asked him if he wanted to go roller skating with a group. That was a year ago and he is still hanging out with them.
One time, years ago, I took my kids to a talk given by Jason Evert and afterwards they had Eucharistic adoration. That might have been one of the first times I ever did it. My kids were teenagers, and nobody really wanted to go, but I made them go. And we were walking out and my one son came up to me and just started crying so hard. And I said, “What's wrong?” And he said, “Thank you so much for making me come. I saw Jesus.” I said, “What do you mean?” He said, “When we were doing Adoration, I had my eyes shut, and for a minute I didn't know where I was. I was just in this garden with Jesus. And I felt the happiest I ever felt my whole life.” And that was probably the first time that I really felt like Jesus was truly present in the Eucharist.
I lost my husband a year ago and since then, there have been a couple of times I've been very distraught and gone into adoration on my way into work or at lunch. Prayer does always make you feel peaceful, but there’s something special about when I go into the chapel. I wish there were more of the 24/7 chapels around.
I like going to talk to God and to concentrate on Jesus. I now desire to receive Communion more than I ever have. I'm more attentive to it all now, because I know that Jesus is present in the Eucharist. I love the personal time I have praying to and talking to Jesus. I usually have a sense of peace afterward. It’s very comforting.
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